“Blue Car”

Paleo Retiree writes:


The Question Lady and I were in giggly, semi-camp heaven watching this solemn exercise in literary-workshop-style hypersensitivity.

Agnes Bruckner stars as a midwestern girl from a sad, broken family who has a knack for poetry; Margaret Colin is the girl’s overwhelmed, trying-not-to-be-bitter, snappish mom; David Strathairn is the handsome high-school English teacher whose interest in his student’s talents may be a little too personal.

The actors are all good, and despite my irreverence I’m also happy to acknowledge that the film is classily done. (It was directed by Karen Moncrieff.) It’s what it is that made me hoot. Divorce; quiet miseries; vague yearnings; misplaced love; “family” as an “issue”; clever-but-not-Hollywood dialogue; loads of indirection; the suburbs portrayed as an inane version of paradise; metaphors-and-coincidences standing in for story structure; the cluelessness of adults whose lives haven’t lived up to their hopes … Every cliche of this inevitably slim, wispy, overbaked, narcissistically-compassionate, never-delicate-enough, estrogen-befogged, microtrauma-lovin’ genre is dotingly dwelt-on and artfully-presented, as though the package had both real literary significance and immense sociological resonance.

Tasteful-indiepic bliss.


  • Don’t miss Blowhard, Esq.’s definitive review of tasteful-indiepic classic “Margot at the Wedding.”

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog 2Blowhards.com. Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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7 Responses to “Blue Car”

  1. mrtallhk says:

    Thanks so much for those scare quotes on the word “issue”.

    When did our problems become our issues, and was that the moment at which western civilization tipped over into terminal decline . . . ?


  2. Mr. Tall, great to see you again. Are you still doing your wonderful blogging?

    Enough with the “issues” already, right? What’s with all the “problematizing” of daily existence. My own lame theory about this is that many people are desperate, really desperate, to find their lives more interesting than they really are.


    • mrtallhk says:

      Hi Paleo-Michael! I’m on blogging hiatus at the moment; ran out of steam, but who knows when that might return? My co-blogger at batgung.com, however, is going strong with a Hong Kong history blog at gwulo.com.

      I think you’re on to something with the ‘issues’ analysis. No one wants to hear about your problems; they’re boring. But ‘issues’ and ‘interesting’ start with the same letter, don’t they? That can’t be just a coincidence . . . .


  3. The Manolo had to think for the second who is the David Strathairn. At the first he thought he though he read the name Jason Statham, which now that the Manolo considers it, would have been the unexpectedly brilliant casting choice, one that would have made this drippy movie much, much better.


  4. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Watched this over the weekend. Can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard at a movie. My fave part: When Agnes reads her get-back-at-the-teacher poem.

    “Like a crippled phoenix I fly up from your bed of ashes!”


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